Most market stallholders who claim to offer organic vegetables have no document or certificate to prove it, according to a survey released at an organic food festival yesterday. The Organic Resource Centre at Baptist University surveyed 470 stalls in 91 wet markets throughout the city in December and January. The holders of 24 per cent of the stalls said they sold organic produce. However, only 30 could produce certificates for their organic vegetables. The survey especially singled out two markets. 'Much of the organic produce sold at Yeung Uk Road Market in Tseun Wan and Aberdeen Market is fake,' said centre director Jonathan Wong Woon-chung. In a similar survey last year, 20 per cent of the 706 stalls surveyed claimed to be selling organic produce, but only 10 per cent - or 14 stalls - had proof. Wong said the rise in the number of stalls selling certified organic produce from 2 to 6.4 per cent showed that consumer rights were better protected, but there was a long way to go. 'There are still a large number of vendors without certificates, claiming verbally to sell organic produce,' Wong said, adding that most of the claims were made verbally in order to avoid prosecution. All organic food certification is provided by the private sector. Organic produce at 22 of the 30 stalls was certified by the Organic Resource Centre, one of two independent certification bodies for organic products in Hong Kong. Certification costs HK$1,000 a year. Last year, a vegetable stall owner was fined HK$2,500 by customs for supplying vegetables he falsely claimed were certified organic. The survey showed that almost 90 per cent of vegetables described by vendors as organic were sold for less than HK$15 a catty (600 grams), while 70 per cent of certified organic vegetables cost more than HK$15. Wong said the price of organic produce had fallen. 'The price range of organic produce last year was HK$20 to HK$25 per catty. The price range for this year is HK$15 to HK$20. This can be explained by the increase in production. This year, the supply of organic produce is 4.5 tonnes per day, compared to 2 tonnes last year.' But he warned that genuine organic produce would not be priced at less than HK$10. 'Consumers should buy only organic produce with labels. While governments in countries like the US and the mainland have labelling mechanisms in place, the situation in Hong Kong is quite chaotic. For the protection of consumer rights, the government should consider enacting labelling legislation.' Mary Lo Siu-ling, a housewife who spent HK$100 at the festival in Chater Road, Central, yesterday, said she only bought organic produce from supermarkets. Alan Wong Chi-kong, director of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, said there was no need for new legislation. 'Organic farming is something new in Hong Kong. We hope to get more people to know about this through education. We will step up patrols [on the stalls],' he said.